The Open Door Web Site
Part XVIII: Energy and Activity : How Plants
Tulip plants, Palais Royale, Paris
ENERGY AND ACTIVITY
Underground Storage Organs
Some plants form storage organs underground to survive through winter. The organs will grow shoots, leaves and flowers in the spring.
The storage organs can be in the form of tubers (e.g. potatoes), rhizomes (e.g. irises and ferns), bulbs (e.g. daffodils and tulips) or corms (e.g. crocuses).
The formation of these organs is carefully controlled. Potato plants originally came from high up in the Andes mountains of South America. In the mountains winter can be very cold. Potato plants will start to store food in tubers underground as soon as the air temperature falls below 20'C. They also start to store food in their tubers when the days become shorter. In spring as the soil temperature warms the tuber begins to sprout. New shoots and leaves will grow above the soil.
Daffodils, Bristol, UK
Crocuses, Bristol, UK
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